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 Qigong and Taiji: Oxygen Metabolism 
 

4. Free Radical Balance
There are multiple factors that modify oxygen demand and uptake besides the cell work of body movement and organ function. Such factors include the effects of chemical and environmental stress caused by foods, water and airborn pollution. Emotional, relational or career stressors, the stress of injury and the stress of infection also effect the body's ability to absorb and utilize oxygen. Accumulation of these effects can negatively impact on oxygen metabolism and precipitate functional imbalances in the human system.

The normal activity of energy metabolism creates a certain number of by-products. These molecules are called free radicals. With the impact of the above mentioned stressors greater amounts of free radicals are produced. All normal molecules have paired electrons in their outer electron orbits. Free radicals are unstable molecules with an unpaired electron in their outermost electron orbit. In an effort to return to a stable state these renegade molecules steal electrons from healthy molecules causing tissue damage and aging.

The body produces a number of antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase and methione reductase, whose job is to neutralize the free radicals produced in normal energy metabolism. However, in an imbalanced or unwell system demand for antioxidant enzymes is high and natural productivity, due to pathology, may be low.

When slow, deep breathing and moderate body motion is activated there is an increased demand for oxygen molecules which are taken up from the blood. The potential for free radicals to bond with this available oxygen, neutralizing the free radical population, may be greatly accelerated when regular Qigong or Yoga/Pranayama is included in a person's daily health routine.

There are a number of strategies for resolution of oxygen deficiency disease (ODD) including the use of antioxidant nutrients (Vit. A, C, E and selenium), antioxidant enzymes, coenzyme Q10, germanium and germanium bearing herbs and hyperbaric oxygen. There is, however, nothing more available, inexpensive and obvious than oxygen itself taken in maximum daily doses through moderate exercise and breathing exercises.

©1996 Roger Jahnke, O.M.D.

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 About The Author
Roger Jahnke OMDRoger Jahnke has been in the health field since 1967 beginning with body therapies, herbal medicine, Tai Chi, Yoga and meditation. He turned his attention seriously to Oriental medicine in 1972 with study at the North......more
 
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